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S. Korea rejects Japan's claim to Dokdo amid tensions with Russia

Diplomacy 19:01 July 23, 2019

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday dismissed Japan's renewed claim to its easternmost islets of Dokdo amid military tensions caused by a Russian warplane's violation of its airspace near the rocky outcropping in the East Sea.

Earlier in the day, the Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft trespassed into Korea's territorial airspace near Dokdo, prompting the Air Force to fire warning shots in the first such violation by a foreign military plane.

Referring to the incident, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga claimed that the Russian warplane violated Japan's territory. Tokyo has also lodged a protest with Seoul over the incident through a diplomatic channel.

"As Dokdo is our inherent territory historically, geographically and by international law, we can't accept the Japanese side's claim," Seoul's foreign ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

"Japan filed a protest (to South Korea) through a diplomatic channel, and our side rejected it," the ministry added.

The latest flare-up over Dokdo came amid an increasingly rancorous spat between Seoul and Tokyo over Japan's recent export control measure seen as political retaliation for last year's Supreme Court rulings here against Japanese firms over wartime forced labor.

S. Korea rejects Japan's claim to Dokdo amid tensions with Russia - 1


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